Friday, September 25, 2009

Neil Gaiman Talks Vampires


Neil Gaiman Talks Vampires
Best-selling author holds forth on the history and the eternal appeal of the bloodsucker -- and why it might be time to put them back in the grave.

See if you agree!!,,20301186,00.html

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Valley High Wednesday 23 September 2009 12.24 BST

Diablo Cody to tackle Sweet Valley High

Juno writer to script film adaptation of the long-running book series about a pair of beautiful identical twins and their high-school exploits

Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for her smart screenplay to Juno, is attached to write a big-screen adaptation of Sweet Valley High, the long-running series of teen-oriented books which was also made into a TV show.

The books centred on the lives of identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who live in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, California, and attend the local high school. More than 150 titles were published featuring Jessica, the more flighty of the sisters, and Elizabeth, the practical one, who usually had to save the day when one of her sibling's fanciful schemes went awry.

Cody is said to have grown up reading the books, which were conceived by Francine Pascal in 1983 and written by an army of ghostwriters over the next two decades. While wildly popular, the books have been criticised for their unrealistic treatment of teenage girls' lives. Not only were both twins faultlessly beautiful, but Jessica suffered the deaths of five boyfriends over the course of the series, while Elizabeth fell in love with a Parisian prince and an English viscount.

Universal Pictures is still in negotiations to pick up the movie rights to the Sweet Valley High series, and there are as yet no details of cast or crew as yet.

Blood Promise

Blood Promise
Richelle Mead

How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them . . . including Dimitri.

He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Review by Razorbill is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Richie's Picks: THE SMART ALECK'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY by Adam Selzer, Delacorte, December 2009, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-385-73650-3; Libr. ISBN: 978-0-385-90613-5

"One night, two lanterns were hung, and Revere jumped out of bed and got on his horse. He did not, however, shout 'The British are coming.' In 1775, most colonists still considered themselves British. Shouting 'The British are coming' in the colonies would have been about the same thing as riding through Paris and shouting 'Here come ze French!' People would have thought he was crazy.
"What he shouted was 'The regulars are out,' which people knew meant they were about to be attacked by British soldiers--or possibly by guys who ate a lot of fiber. Either way, they knew to get ready for something messy."

If one were to propose that it takes a village to teach American history, then what we have here is the village wiseass -- who was undoubtedly entertaining his buddies by thinking up this kind of stuff back in his own history classes -- putting together a somewhat undisciplined and pretty darn entertaining overview of American history that includes many solid -- if sometimes seemingly random facts about our history, as well as some invaluable lessons in information literacy and myth-deflation.

"Nobody really thought of Paul Revere as a war hero--or thought of him at all, for that matter--until 1860, when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote 'Paul Revere's Ride...'"

My own grasp of American history has been greatly enhanced and extended over the years through reading a number of alternative history series as well as numerous notable trade books that focus on specific people and topics. I have not read the latest edition of Joy Hakim's THE HISTORY OF US, but was thoroughly engaged as I read all the way through the 1999 eleven-volume edition. Howard Zinn's THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY was a dense and shocking volume, offering me an entirely new perspective on the motivations of decision makers throughout America's checkered past.

"Stories that Columbus had trouble getting funding because of a belief the Earth was flat were supposedly made up by Washington Irving..."

What I have always loved best has been to supplement my knowledge with in-depth explorations of events and issues in our history such as Ann Bausum's FREEDOM RIDERS: JOHN LEWIS AND JIM ZWERG ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT; Karen Blumental's LET ME PLAY; Russell Freedman's IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY: THE STORY OF AMERICA'S BILL OF RIGHTS; Pete Nelson's LEFT FOR DEAD: A YOUNG MAN'S SEARCH FOR JUSTICE FOR THE USS INDIANAPOLIS; Chris Crowe's GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER: THE TRUE STORY OF THE EMMETT TILL CASE; and Philip Caputo's 10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER: A HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR.

Now, awards committees are not likely to take seriously a history book like THE SMART ALECK'S GUIDE, whose coverage of the past sixty years is primarily organized by the order in which people and events are listed in Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire." But for this younger generation's smart alecks, who find the conventional classroom presentation of American history to be lame and predictable, and who might salivate at the thought of being able to contradict their teacher's signing onto one of those long-held myths that I was fed as a kid (and is discredited here), or who will enjoy pointing out when their teacher makes use of one of those famous historical paintings that it was actually painted a century or more after the subjects in the painting had all become compost, this is an American history book for them.

Furthermore, the generally brief, unflinching evaluations of the various US presidents will leave lasting impressions:

"But after he won the 1904 election, [Teddy Roosevelt] moved to the left politically and began aggressively taking on the trusts and robber barons, issuing lawsuit after lawsuit against major corporations,
"He was a popular character, known for being a rough-and-tumble sort of guy--kind of like Andrew Jackson, only smarter, less corrupt and not as intent on screwing Native Americans over. He had so much energy that some of the people around him joked that he was like a six-year-old. He knew he was popular, and loved attention. His daughter Alice famously said that he wanted to be 'the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.'"

THE SMART ALECK'S GUDE includes some great fun features (such as the reoccurring "Stupid Hats From History" and the smart aleck end-of-chapter multiple choice review questions), along with brief discussions of some relevant long-lived conspiracy theories, and some excellent popular culture segments. One of my favorites of the latter is the section on the Flappers of the 1920's which includes a fascinating page full of flapper slang.

All in all, THE SMART ALECK'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY will enlighten, entertain, and encourage healthy skepticism amongst students, and might well motivate students to go on to check out some of those in-depth trade books.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks

The Host Coming to the Screen

Stephenie Meyer's Host Coming to the Big Screen
Source:Variety September 23, 2009

Variety reports that producers Nick Wechsler, Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz have acquired screen rights to "The Host," the first adult novel written by Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" series. Andrew Niccol will write the script and direct the adaptation.

This is how the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, describes the book:

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.


Dotti Enderle
* * *
Flour Power!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Terrific Banned Book Blog

Anyone interested in Banned or challenged Books and how libraries celebrate
this should check out the Banned Book Webpage designed by the Carnegie Library
of Pittsburgh. It is fantastic and informative!!!!!

Wicked Lovely

Universal Gets Wicked Lovely
Source:Variety September 15, 2009

Universal Pictures has acquired screen rights to "Wicked Lovely," the bestselling first book in a fantasy series written by Melissa Marr that will see its fourth installment published next year by Harper Collins, reports Variety.

The protagonist is a 17-year-old girl who can see fairies, and must fend off the advances of a fairy king determined to marry her to save the planet from his vengeful mother.

Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson will adapt the book.